Statement by Aerospace Industries Association President and CEO Marion C. Blakey on the risk to America’s national security strategy outlined in Defense Secretary Hagel’s letter to the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Arlington, Va. — The Aerospace Industries Association is gravely concerned by the second wave of sequestration impacts that were recently outlined in Defense Secretary Hagel’s letter of July 10 to the Senate Armed Services Committee. Secretary Hagel’s letter provides a contingency plan to slash $52 billion dollars out of the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2014 budget unless Congress repeals the sequester by the end of September. This cut comes on top of $487 billion dollars of reductions already being implemented across the next decade from the Budget Control Act as well as $37 billion lost from the fiscal year 2013 budget in the first round of sequestration.
Like Secretary Hagel, our members support President Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget and strongly oppose further cuts of the magnitude required under the Budget Control Act. As best said by the Secretary, “I strongly oppose cuts of that magnitude because … the size, readiness and technological superiority of our military will be reduced, placing at much greater risk the country’s ability to meet our current national security commitments.” We also agree with the Secretary’s statement that, “this outcome is unacceptable as it would limit the country’s options in the event of a major new national security contingency.”
AIA has been a tireless advocate for the President’s annual proposed budgets for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 as we believe they represent the minimum necessary investment in our collective national security industrial base. We will continue to highlight the negative consequences of these cuts, particularly those unseen effects such as the impacts on small businesses in the supply chain and the loss of critical skills and experience represented by our unique workforce spread across the country.
We urge Congress and President Obama to repeal sequestration before the end of the current fiscal year and work together with industry to find bipartisan strategic solutions that yield greater cost savings and operational efficiencies over ten years that can exceed those gained through sequestration.
Americans deserve no less from their elected leaders.